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Down the rabbit hole

Do academic discussions of political theory belong to the world of make-believe?

By Christopher Fear  

Do academic discussions belong to the world of make-believe?

Writing in 1942, the Oxford Professor of Metaphysics, RG Collingwood, said that dismissing academic discussion for insignificant speech is like “scolding little girls for giving dolls’ tea-parties with empty cups and little boys for playing with wooden swords.” Academic discussions, he added, “belong to the world of make-believe.

Collingwood was specifically talking about my field, political philosophy, as it is done in universities. Reflecting on his words over the last year, I’ve begun to realise how right he was.…

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